Plane Supermarket Chapter 51

Plane Supermarket Plane 2: Luoyang Base C14


The frenzied buying spree finally came to a stop under the intimidating sound of gunfire. In an instant, the residents became disciplined, no longer crowding or pushing one another. The ordinary citizens were no longer allowed to enter the battlefield, and in the interest of base stability, many of them had never touched a gun again after retiring.

Zou Ming also entered the supermarket, standing vigil by the side of the line.

“Zou Xiongdi, we owe you a lot,” Wu Yan saw the maintained order and whispered to Zou Ming, “If I had known, I would’ve brought my gun with me.”

Zou Ming replied, “Remember it next time.”

Wu Yan nodded in agreement.

Although Zou Ming was usually a man of few words, the people in the store didn’t find anything wrong with his personality. Quite the contrary, maybe it was precisely because he spoke little that the employees considered him very reliable.

A person who is constantly spouting nonsense, no matter how skilled they may be, will always come across as a bragger.

The newly recruited temporary workers quickly realized that their job was far from easy.

Chen Gang was exhausted and drenched in sweat. He originally thought that unloading cargo like this would take at least an hour.

After all, the shelves were piled high.

But in less than twenty minutes, several children started shouting at them, urging them to restock the shelves.

Everything else was manageable, but it seemed like the rice bins were always empty, and he had to restock them every time he turned his head.

It was half-past eleven in the afternoon when the supermarket employees were about to take a break. Chen Gang’s hands felt as if they couldn’t be lifted anymore. He had never felt so weak in his life, as if his body had been hollowed out, and his legs were barely keeping him afloat.

It was only when Cao Er Niang called out, “Today, we’re having braised pork for lunch! The boss said to eat well so that you’ll have the energy to work!”

“Don’t even think about slacking off! I’ve got my eyes on you!”

In the modern era, Cao Er Niang would undoubtedly be a great taskmaster. Not only did she work tirelessly herself, but she also supervised others to do the same.

Wu Yan wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Aunt Li, I’m going to get three bottles of grape juice. You make a note of it, and we’ll deduct it from my paycheck later.”

After a moment, Cao Er Niang recalled Ye Zhou’s words and replied, “No need, bring a whole crate over. The boss said we should all eat and drink well lately, so these won’t be accounted for separately.”

These days, Cao Er Niang had already learned Arabic numerals. Even though she couldn’t write Chinese characters, she used various symbols to represent people’s names, and she remembered everything quite clearly. She was in charge of keeping track of the employees’ daily expenses.

After a few rounds of accounting, Ye Zhou realized that although she couldn’t quite understand what she wrote, there were indeed no issues with her record-keeping. The accounts never went awry. Every penny matched perfectly. Ye Zhou simply handed the employees’ expenses over to Cao Er Niang for record-keeping.

With more supermarket staff, they set up a few tables by the back door for meals. The supermarket had folding tables and chairs, making cleanup easy.

Chen Gang sat at the table, still somewhat dazed, but the aroma of meat reinvigorated his spirits.

With the recent increase in work, Cao Er Niang started selecting meat with plenty of marbling, the juicy pork belly. When stir-frying dishes, she didn’t even need to add oil beforehand. Just a quick sear of the meat the oil would be released.

The fried meat wasn’t the least bit greasy. The fatty bits melted in the mouth, leaving a delicious richness that made one want to savor every bit.

“The rice is over there. Help yourselves if you need more,” Cao Er Niang handed down empty bowls.

Employees and their families went to get more rice, and Chen Gang’s craving for rice was much less now. He stared intently at the slices of meat in the stainless steel basin, contemplating using his chopsticks, but hesitating.

Only after seeing someone nearby pick up a piece did he finally give in and select a small slice to put in his mouth.

Although he already resolved to keep a low profile when he first arrived at the supermarket, the temptation of the meat was simply irresistible, and his restraint couldn’t hold back any longer.

Chen Gang closed his mouth, and the aroma of the oils and fats filled his mouth. He couldn’t tell if it was because he was in need of such nourishment or if Cao Er Niang’s culinary skills were simply good, but he didn’t feel the slightest bit greasy. He savored every bite slowly, and only when the others had returned to their seats did he hastily swallow and grab a second slice.

Compared to Chen Gang and the group of adolescents, the supermarket employees appeared much more refined.

They didn’t lack for nourishment, and they had an abundance of meat to enjoy, but they favored lean meat over fatty cuts. Mostly, their chopsticks gravitated towards the vegetables.

Some with smaller appetites would only eat a couple of meat slices before avoiding it altogether and sticking to the vegetables.

After quickly eating several slices, Chen Gang noticed that no one was fighting over the meat anymore. He slowed down his pace and even got himself another bowl of rice.

As everyone was nearly finished with their meal, someone asked their tablemate, “Can I have the leftover oil-soaked rice?”

The person being asked replied, “Aren’t you afraid of an upset stomach?”

Chen Gang felt a bit awkward but plucked up the courage to ask, “It’s just so delicious. I’m not quite full yet.”

The person who was asked replied, “Go ahead, as long as it doesn’t delay the afternoon work. There’s also dinner later.”

There were still too few supermarket employees to rotate shifts, and they couldn’t have them skip meals while working. So, Ye Zhou established the rule that they would have a one-hour lunch break, during which the supermarket would close and not serve any customers.

After their meal, the employees had some time to relax, take a nap, or return to the warehouse for a rest and recuperation.

The last ones at the table were Chen Gang and a few kids, and they gathered all the remaining food onto one table to share.

Chen Gang poured the meat sauce, mixed with spices and green peppers, into his bowl, stirred it into the rice, and then wolf down the bowl.

The kids didn’t hold back either. Maybe it was their growing age, but whether they were boys or girls, they all seemed to have a bottomless pit in their stomachs. They dug into their food that they broke into a sweat and showed no intention of putting down their chopsticks.

“They sure can eat,” Wu Yan remarked, taken aback by their appetites.

The way they eat their meals was as if seeking revenge or settling a score.Those that are unfamiliar with them might think that the food had wronged them.

“You’ve forgotten?” Wu Yan’s wife handed the child over to Wu Yan and let him hold the baby. “We weren’t any better off in the beginning.”

Wu Yan’s wife added, “Don’t you remember? The first time you saw meat, your eyes practically turned green.”

Wu Yan chuckled dryly. “I’ve almost forgotten.”

Wu Yan’s wife whispered, “Yeah, it’s hard to remember now.”

Those days of living hand-to-mouth, struggling with hunger and thirst, felt like a lifetime ago, as if they had walked through the world as mere shadows.

Wu Yan’s wife softly added, “I wonder how Chen Yu and the others are doing.”

Wu Yan mused, “He’s probably living in some village down south, farming and enjoying life. He always wanted to find a wife, and with what the immortals left for them, they should be able to start a family. Maybe they’ll even have a couple of kids, and life will become more enjoyable.”

Occasionally, they found themselves missing the Daliang Dynasty, its people, and the land. So, from time to time, they would reminisce about the “old days” and genuinely wished that they were living well.

Wu Yan’s wife added, “I don’t know if we’ll ever go back in the future.”

·

At four in the afternoon, while the supermarket was still bustling with activity, Ye Zhou received a message from Yang Guoqin.

He had gathered enough money to purchase the photon cannon and was currently leading a convoy on its way.

Ye Zhou initially thought it would be a convoy loaded with corn cakes.

But when the convoy arrived, Ye Zhou’s jaw almost dropped.

Yang Guoqin hadn’t brought corn cakes, nor had he brought any provisions that were long obsolete. 

What he brought were truckloads of firearms.

There were sniper rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, and handguns.

Basically, Yang Guoqin had sent over all the guns that Ye Zhou was familiar with.

Jumping down from the truck, Yang Guoqin, a general, didn’t dress any differently from ordinary people. He wasn’t in uniform, was covered in dust, and had several black marks on his face. But he didn’t care about his appearance, wearing a relieved smile. “I pooled these from other bases. If the photon cannon proves useful, I can lend them to the others here.”

“They’re all functional guns, just lacking ammunition, and they were gathering dust in the warehouse,” Yang Guoqin sighed. He pulled out a cigarette and offered it to Ye Zhou. He had soldiers with him who would go shopping at the supermarket and bring back a few packs of cigarettes each time.

Ye Zhou waved his hand. “I don’t smoke.”

Yang Guoqin paused for a moment. “Do you mind if I smoke here, then?”

“You go ahead,” Ye Zhou replied.

After all, there weren’t many people in the supermarket who smoked.

Yang Guoqin lit his cigarette and said, “These guns are much more valuable here than corn cakes. They are the real deal.”

After all, one couldn’t face zombies empty-handed. The sense of security that a gun brought was immense.

“I’ve heard that many countries’ military-industrial complexes made a fortune before losing contact with us,” Yang Guoqin said somewhat sarcastically. “They exchanged it for gold and silver, but I wonder if they regret it now.”

Currently, gold and silver couldn’t buy guns.

Ye Zhou asked, “How many guns do you have here in total? How many of each type? I want to calculate the cost.”

Yang Guoqin handed over a printed spreadsheet, and Ye Zhou selected a few samples, carrying the quantity list back into the supermarket.

The supermarket’s firearms were expensive, with a single pistol costing fifty thousand.

Ye Zhou scanned the handguns with a barcode scanner. Of course, the prices he could offer in the supermarket couldn’t be compared to the rates here. A handgun was worth five thousand, which was two zeroes less.

The prices for sniper rifles and assault rifles were the same, both costing thirty thousand per piece.

Machine guns were priced at a staggering hundred thousand each.

Ye Zhou did the math with the quantity list and found that the total was enough to purchase the photon cannon and still had over five million left.

The total value of these firearms was over seventeen million.

After all, the total quote was one million two hundred thousand, but the price he quoted to Yang Guoqin was one million five hundred thousand.

Adding up the money they had earned in these past two days, they were now halfway to reaching the revenue needed for the protective shield.

But Ye Zhou had no plans to exchange the guns beyond the price of the photon cannon for money. He had a feeling that guns should be a valuable commodity in many planes.

“How’s the quality of these guns?” Ye Zhou asked Chen Shu.

He had no knowledge of guns himself, so he had to rely on someone with experience.

Chen Shu replied, “They’re not bad. While they may not be the latest models, they’re still decent. Many of them are older models, and some are even older than me.”

Ye Zhou nodded, “… I see, so there are different types and models within the same category.”

Chen Shu nodded, “Boss, you should take them. I’ve been to several planes before, and a single handgun can be worth over a hundred or two hundred thousand. Trading them in with the government would be a huge loss.”

Chen Shu chewed on a piece of bubblegum while examining an assault rifle, “This gun has a strong recoil, but its accuracy is not bad.”

She raised the gun, her eyes focused on the sights.

“This is inside the store!” Ye Zhou exclaimed.

Chen Shu chuckled, “There are no bullets inside.”

“Boss, what’s your relationship with Zou Ming?” Chen Shu casually asked.

Ye Zhou didn’t mind and replied, “The relationship between employer and employee. Now, you could call us friends. Is there a problem?”

Chen Shu found it strange, “I thought he had known you for a while. He never used to take long-term employment. It was always short-term missions, like escorting people or cargo. When I asked him before, he said he didn’t want to stay in one plane for too long.”

“I feel like he’s searching for someone but doesn’t know where they are, so he keeps taking on jobs and shifting between planes,” she continued.

“Now that he’s in long-term employment here, I think he might have found them.”

“He found that person he’s been thinking about for so long.”


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